Corps History and Museums Division
1254 Charles Morris Street SE
Washington, DC 20374
The History and Museums Division maintains a library, a historical archives, a reference section, special collections, and oral history, military music, art, and photographic collections. Additionally, it operates the Marine Corps Museum with its extensive collection of artifacts.
The Library contains approximately 40,000 volumes concentrating on military and naval history, Marine Corps history, and amphibious warfare.
The Archives Section has cognizance over Marine Corps operational records, which include approximately 4,000 cubic feet of plans, command diaries, command chronologies, and after-action reports. Also included are trip reports by former Commandants and Assistant Commandants, records from the annual General Officer Symposium, and certain board reports. Records dating from 1798-1914 have been accessioned by the National Archives, while materials from 1914-1964 have been transferred to the Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland, for temporary storage.
The Reference Section of the Division has collected a large body of material on Marine Corps topics and has divided it into subject, biographical, geographical, and unit files. These files cover the entire span of Marine Corps history and include reports, documents, newspaper and magazine clippings, histories, and photographs. Of special interest are the biographical files on over 5,000 Marines. In addition, this section maintains microfilm copies of muster rolls and unit diaries for the war periods between 1798 and 1865 and for all years between 1893 and 1964.
The Oral History Collection includes transcripts of extended interviews with more than 200 prominent retired Marines. In addition, a collection relating largely to Vietnam operations has sound tapes of approximately 6,500 interviews with active duty Marines conducted by Marine field historians. Transcripts are not available for this group of oral interviews.
The Military Music Collection is especially strong in two areas, the works of John Philip Sousa and the history of the U.S. Marine Band, the "President's Own." The collection contains thousands of musical scores, both printed and manuscript, including Sousa originals. The collection is located at Marine Barracks Washington.
The Art Collection contains approximately 6,200 sketches, paintings, prints, posters, and sculptures relating especially to Marine Corps service in the Vietnam War.
The Still Photographic Collection holds negatives and transparencies depicting the history of the Marine Corps from World War II to the present. Approximately 16,000 photographs of the period prior to World War II have been transferred to the National Archives.
The Marine Corps Museum is located on the first floor of the Historical Center. Its exhibits illustrate through the use of uniforms, weapons, and other military equipage, graphics, contemporary art, and documents, a chronological review of the Marine Corps' role in American history. In addition, changing displays of Marine Corps art and topical exhibits of martial artifacts are presented in a separate gallery.
1 April 2002